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Wagga Town Plate day preview

It's a great week for racing around the world, and rural NSW has a carnival of its own in Wagga. Alex Donnelly (@alexdonnelly14) makes his blog debut to preview the year's best racing on his home turf. Here's what the early morning looks like today at the course.

With the racing focus leaving the Sydney carnival and moving onto Brisbane in the coming weeks, Wagga gets their 2 day carnival and time to shine. It has being raining steadily for the last 2 days with some early showers expected tomorrow morning the track is currently a SLOW 6.
I have composed a preview of each race with my top four selections of each race.

Wagga Wagga
Race 1 - NSW RACEHORSE OWNERS ASSOCIATION MAIDEN HANDICAP (1000 METRES)
In a very open race to start the carnival with six first starters, I’ve gone with race form and put BUBBLES AND BLING on top who last start ran a very nice second when leading every step of the way until she was nailed on the line by a very nice horse in IZA STAR. Going with that form line I’m putting BLUE TAO in for 2nd who travelled very nicely last start until getting shuffled back midfield on the turn then charging home for 3rd in that race. For 3rd I’m choosing CROOKED TOUCH who last start in December ran 4th to the smart TALLOW BEACH, she has a terrible record with only 1 placing in 11 starts, but with a 4th behind TALLOW BEACH I’m hopeful she can fill a place. For 4th the John Marzol trained MINERAL DEPOSIT. He is coming all the way from Moruya for his first start and being by Canny Lad he will appreciate the slow going in his first start. But keep an eye out if there is any money for a first starter.
12 – BUBBLES AND BLING
10 – BLUE TAO
15 – CROOKED TOUCH
2 – MINERAL DEPOSIT


Race 2 - XXXX GOLD MAIDEN HANDICAP (1400 METRES)
In yet another very open maiden in which it will not surprise me if anyone of 10 individual horses win the race. I’ve settled on the Brian Cox trained POLISH ROSE who last start as favourite ran 3rd to LOOKSMART and 2 starts prior ran 4th behind PRINCE PEDRO who will start as one of the top picks in the Guineas on Friday, Blake Shinn has ridden this horse before and that only enhances her chances for mine. SHANNON’S COMMAND ran on very well for 4th over 1200 last start and the extra 200 meters in distance will only suit this gelding. FAST AND THORNY had excuses in the heavy ground last time when sent out as favourite last start and will appreciate the drop from the provincials to the country. If the track was not slow I’d have him on top. JABU is my 4th elect he ran 3rd at Goulburn at his only start 3 weeks ago and has had a stable transfer since then.

8 – POLISH ROSE
10 – SHANNON’S COMMAND
5 – FAST AND THORNY
2 – JABU

Race 3 - REECE PLUMBING CLASS 2 HANDICAP (1400 METRES)
With only a small field of 8 competing in this C,G&E race, we are able to find a clear cut top selection here with the Keith Dryden trained MYNAME’SJAMES being that selection he will come up Chris Munce odds, but you might need to have a crack after the first 2 races of the day. He was ultra impressive in his first start at Canberra winning by 9 lengths and then did what was needed to do last start winning by 3.5. He will win this in a canter as this race is weaker than his first two starts in my opinion. For 2nd ROCK SPEED who got the job done last start at Wagga when a odds on favourite and hit the line very well, the step up in distance will help this Fastnet Rock gelding and could give favourite backers a scare if on top of his game. WARREGO MELODY goes in for 3rd dropping back from a 62 rating race at Wodonga last start to a class 2 gives him a chance ahead of others in this race. For 4th MANCHEBO he was the best of the rest, not much to say about this horse, but he is dropping back from Kembla to Wagga Wagga. Stand out the favourite in a Trifecta from the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th selections.

4 – MYNAME’SJAMES
5 – ROCK SPEED
3 – WARREGO MELODY
2 – MANCHEBO

Race 4 - INGLIS BONUS 2YO HANDICAP (1200 METRES)
Very surprised there was not a few Sydney trained runners in this as it’s an Inglis bonus race, this race last year was won by a horse called HENDRICUS and SINCERO the year before so it can throw a nice horse. In another very open race I have put SERB CANDY on top he won the Golden Bullet at Queanbeyan last start and with Hugh Bowman on board I could not go past this filly. DIAMOND PLAYER is my 2nd pick, this horse has not shown much in Sydney, but it has been running in some top class races, this substantial drop back in class will help, but I can’t help but think that she is getting used to losing but I may well be wrong. ALITTLEBITOFDUEY for 3rd ran a first start 3rd at Hawkesbury with race experience and the extra 200 meters to suit. MISS BEMUSE is my 4th pick she ran a very nice 3rd in her only start at Wagga and race experience will only help this filly.

5 – SERB CANDY
11 – DIAMOND PLAYER
3 – ALITTLEBITOFDUEY
14 – MISS BEMUSE

Race 5 - NSW RACEHORSE OWNERS ASSOCIATION CLASS 1 & MAIDEN PLATE (1600 METRES)
In this race we have a mix of Class 1 horses and Maidens as the name suggests, but in my eye 4 horses stand out from the rest.
I have settled on the Tim Donnelly trained LEOPARDSTOWN as my top selection. He ran a fantastic race in a 1st up effort in 8 months over 1400 meters and was beaten by a bob of the heads. He drops 2.5 kilos from that first up effort will strip a lot fitter for the run and the trip suits him. He is clearly the one to beat. PRINCE ERRATA can and should run 2nd. He beat LEOPARDSTOWN 2 starts ago and was carrying 2 kilos less but this time he carries 2.5 more so it is a 4.5 turn around in favour of my top selection but i still think this horse will come home well, but the weight turn around will halter him slightly. LOOKSMART won very well last start getting up in the last few strides, he had gone 1000-1600 that start, so another run at the 1600 suits and he will be there abouts. LATE STARTER ran a nice 2nd last start albeit 5 lengths behind the winner, but i believe the winner loved the heavy ground at Kembla that day, dropping back from the provincials to the country enhances his chances.

5 – LEOPARDSTOWN
3 – PRINCE ERRATA
6 – LOOKSMART
1 – LATE STARTER

Race 6 - WAGGA PICTURE FRAMES BENCHMARK 65 HANDICAP (1600 METRES)
This is the hardest race of the day. Form lines are everywhere you have a horse who ran at Cootamundra Picnics last start and one who ran at Kensington last start. Needless to say if i have found the winner here, I’ve done a very good job.
DEVON goes on top for me, he is 1/1 at the distance has had 1 run back from a spell and will strip fitter, he is a son of Galileo so the soft ground will not trouble him, he could go onto bigger and better things after this start. STREET RIDE is goes in from 2nd he was running away from them last start and there was a tip around the track that day that he was flying and would be winning which he did and did nicely, i just think with the weight pull against him he will just miss this time. LITTLE JO goes in for 3rd she won a 62 rating race at Wodonga last start and only carries 50kgs here with the claim from Jake Bayliss, with nothing on her back she could run a cheeky race. I’m putting SLEIGH in at odds for 4th, when she got going last prep she put a few wins together and if she gets a soft lead she could prove hard to run down.

7 – DEVON
1 – STREET RIDE
10 – LITTLE JO
11 – SLEIGH

Race 7 - XXXX GOLD TOWN PLATE (1200 METRES)
The main race on the opening day of the Wagga Wagga Carnival the XXXX Gold Town Plate. It is another open race, as it is most years. I found it hard to choose a top 4 with confidence, I almost certainly will be taking field in the quaddie.
ZARATONE is my top selection, he ran very well last start in the Galaxy where he set the race up for something to swoop late which did eventuate, he drops back from a Group 1 to a open handicap and gets in with 57kgs after a claim. If he gets a soft lead nothing will run him down. ONTHELOOKOUT drops back from 1400 last start where i was lining up in the queue at the 250 only for him to stop dead in his tracks and get beaten. The Jones & Joseph partnership always has a strong hand at the carnival and would have targeted this race with him after last start, he has had a freshen up and has a good record at the track and over the distance. ALPHA PROXIMA from the Leon Corstens yard comes across the border and has been running very well of late he has an ok 2nd up record but this race is weaker than his first up run at Caulfield. DELIVER THE DREAM is my 4th pick she has come from the Peter Moody yard to the Brett Cavanough stable. Before she went for a spell she was flying, she has had a trial to get ready for this run and Brett Cavanough would not be running her if she wasn’t in with a chance. Outside my top four I will not be surprised to see Vilakazi Street or Pimpala Secret winning the race.

1 – ZARATONE
3 – ONTHELOOKOUT
4 – ALPHA PROXIMA
7 – DELIVER THE DREAM

Race 8 - THE DAILY ADVERTISER BENCHMARK 60 HANDICAP (2000 METRES)
Closing the opening day of the carnival is one for the stayers who were not up to Cup level. With most of the field coming from a similar race 9 days ago over the same distance.
I have THE MALLEE TIGER on top he ran a gem of a race last start at Wagga behind GUNTUR and TRADED so much so at the 200 metre mark I thought he was going to win, but he just died on his run at the 100 and finished 3rd, he strips fitter for that run and should salute here. GUNTUR is the obvious 2nd pick, she just held on last start thanks to a nice claim and ride from Amanda Masters, i doubt she will be getting as soft a lead again here and will be run down late. RAMBLING ON goes in for 3rd i always respect a Danny Williams horse when he brings them across he looked last start like he wanted the 2000 and he gets it here, he will be running on late. SIGNORET goes in, she got run down late last start at Canterbury, but the drop in class should suit, but i can’t see her winning this either.

11 – THE MALLEE TIGER
7 – GUNTUR
5 – RAMBLING ON
3 – SIGNORET

My best of the day is Race 3 Number 4 MYNAME’SJAMES but he will be very short odds
My next best is Race 6 Number 7 DEVON
Best each way Race 5 Number 5 LEOPARDSTOWN
Best Roughie Race 6 Number 11 SLEIGH

So there we have it, on what is sure to be a very tough opening day for the punters at Wagga Wagga, I hope I have steered you to a few winners. Good punting!

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